Remarks of the First Lady at a White House Reception for the Diplomatic Corps

July 15, 1985

Good evening, and welcome to the White House. My husband is sorry he can't be with you, and I'm sort of a stand-in. But he's asked me to give you his very best wishes and his regrets.

Now, to conductor John Williams and all the members of the Boston Pops, I know I speak for the entire audience when I say thank you for that wonderful performance. Through the years, 19 conductors have presided over the orchestra, including the beloved Arthur Fiedler. John Williams is a noted composer, a brilliant conductor, and, as I think you will all agree, a true showman. So, to one of America's oldest and most enjoyable cultural institutions -- thank you, again, and a very happy 100th birthday.

Now, having thanked the performers, I can't resist a remark or two about the audience. A diplomatic manual written long ago by a noted Frenchman comes as close as anything to describing you, the diplomats we here have come to know. ``A good diplomat,'' it states, ``must have an observant mind, a spirit of application which refuses to be distracted, a mind so fertile as easily to smooth away the difficulties, an equitable humor, always open, genial, civil, and agreeable.'' And for your untiring grace and charm, for the dedication which each of you represents your nation, we thank you.

Today we've enjoyed the beauty of music and the pleasures of a summer evening shared with friends. So, we need nothing more to remind us of the fruits of freedom and peace. My husband joins me in wishing and praying that good will may forever reign between the people of our country and those of yours.

Thank you, and God bless you all.

Note: Mrs. Reagan spoke at 5:40 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House. The President, who was in Bethesda Naval Hospital recovering from surgery, was unable to attend the reception.